Shelfie Update 2022

               I don’t know about you, but the inherent voyeuristic pleasure in observing others’ bookshelves is one of life’s gentlest joys. You can find common ground in shared reads, new titles for your TBR, question their taste, and so much more. Plus, in the years since social media has pushed the ‘reader aesthetic’, the organization of these books has become almost as fascinating as the choices themselves. With this in mind, here is the newest update of my own shelves post-cleaning.

               In 2021 and more recently, I’ve noticed that—since I’m reading less—it’s easier for me to KonMari my collection of books. I was able to get rid of several boxes this time around and didn’t necessarily add much to that number over the past year either. Instead, I’m really homing in on what brings me joy and trying out digital reading on the Kindle a bit more. I gave organizing by color a try in 2021, but I’ve gone back to height in 2022 since it is more my style (with adjustments as necessary).

               In my bedroom, we have this standard shelf (from Target) that holds my growing Goosebumps, Fear Street, and other vintage kid’s horror books. I love the pops of color from their spines! Most of the novels in this room are contemporary horror or literary realism—noting my multiple copies of Rosemary’s Baby. The fourth shelf contains my trade paperbacks (mostly from Image) and poetry collections since they’re easier to jam onto one shelf. My comic books are in a box in the closet (for now). The last shelf holds my collection of religious texts, writing nonfiction, and some of my bigger series.

               In the living room—on my handmade shelf—the organization hasn’t shifted too much, but the extra space is notable. We still have our six+ feet of Stephen King books on top. Below that are my paperback classics and pulps. The other books are now more mixed (as opposed to organizing purely by genre) with the exception of keeping the Sarah Dessen books together as well as other series or authors like Josh Malerman and Paul Tremblay. My food nonfiction and horror studies books are also grouped together for easy reference.

               Some people organize their books by height, color, author, genre, or some combination of any of those. Some people turn their books around. Some people remove dust jackets. Some organize vertically or horizontally or however we can fit the most on a single shelf. Some are maximalists, and some are minimalists. All of us, however, are readers. Many of us own books we haven’t read yet. Maybe someday we will actually read them.

               For now, this is the layout of my shelves. I’m sure it will change as I add or donate the occasional book. It will shift if I move or if I need to downsize again. Regardless of whatever change lies in the future, these books and shelves are a comfort in my home.